It’s been 130 years since British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle release Sherlock Holmes into the world in the form of a leather-bound book. Holmes remains the most famous detective in literary history. Thousands flock to London and England to follow in the sleuth’s footsteps and those of Watson.
The prolific Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has given the public no less than 56 short stories and 4 novels. How does one create such a powerful myth around the character of Holmes? Doyle did it with such incredible success that many of his readers believed he was real! In a poll carried out in 2010, approximately 60% of Britons were convinced that Sherlock Holmes really existed! From myth to reality…
Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
How did Doyle manage to make his stories so completely believable, to the point that his character became a real person? In part by describing the setting, London, so perfectly and accurately that Sherlock fans could literally reach out and touch them in real-life London. Admirers from around the world come to London to discover the detective’s stomping ground and relive the mysteries.
Sherlock Holmes has experienced a renaissance of late, mostly thanks to the recent 2009 film starring Guy Ritchie, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. There are two places in London that every Holmes fan should visit.
221 B Baker Street
For Sir Arthus Conan Doyle, 221 B Baker Street was a fictional address where Sherlock Holmes and Watson used to mull over clues and possibilities. Now this address is home to a lovely Victorian house where you will find the Sherlock Holmes Museum. The door of the house is an attraction in itself.
- Museum opening hours: daily 9:30-18:00
- Admission: £4 for children under the age of 16, £6 for adults
10-11 Northumberland Street
A trip across central London will get you to the Sherlock Holmes pub, at 10-11 Northumberland Street in Westminster, just a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. If you’re going all English, the fish & chips here aren’t bad if you have a pint to go along with it. What’s interesting though is that a corner of the pub has been refitted to look exactly like Sherlock Holmes’ office, complete with personal objects.